Staff -- Interior Design, 6/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
Flush! Modern Toilet Design
by Ingrid Wenz-Gahler
Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser, distributed in the U.S. by Princeton Architectural Press, $50 144 pages, 160 illustrations (140 color)
At one time, the imaginative design of a space used to stop at the bathroom door. But now the men's, ladies', or unisex bathroom is more likely to yield visual highlights of the bar, hotel, or restaurant containing it. This volume provides more than 40 examples from around the world and a collection of toilet-related trivia, including a verse by Bertolt Brecht, a drawing of a Babylonian cesspool, Marcel Duchamp's urinal sculpture, and a still from a Spike Lee film. The rest is a photographic tour of modern designs by Philippe Starck, Adam Tihany, and Matteo Thun, among others. Designers' addresses, a list of related Web sites, and a bibliography round out the record.
The Surface Texture Bible
by Cat Martin
New York: Harry N. Abrams, $25 spiral-bound hardcover
256 pages, 850 color illustrations
What designer wouldn't love having a storeroom full of every imaginable sample of building material? Barring that, this little book (61/2 by 8 inches) is as close as most of us can get—and it's handier to use. The photos do a surprisingly good job representing 3D texture for 800 materials. Each of a dozen sections (rugs, paints, papers, glass, clay, stone, etc.) is introduced by a spread on "aesthetics," summarizing the nature of the selections. And almost every entry includes buyer information and characteristics such as "Linen carpets crease easily" and "Easier to maintain than stainless steel, aluminum won't show every finger mark or scratch." No matter how extensive your materials library, the glossary and list of 132 suppliers, largely in America or Britain, will seem a marvel of quick and convenient reference.
100 of the World's Best Bars
compiled by Aisha Hasanovic
Victoria, Australia: Images Publishing Group, distributed in the U.S. by Antique Collectors' Club, $60, 344 pages, over 500 color illustrations
Cheers to a book that refuses to philosophize on its subject. It even forgoes an introduction, delving straightaway into a presentation of new bar designs. The visual bar-hop spans America, Japan, China, Italy, Finland, Iceland, Croatia, Brazil, and, of course, Australia, where the book was published. Ironically, anything remotely close to my own notions of the ideal bar—dark, quiet, wood-paneled—is conspicuously absent from the selection. But what is shown represents every other imaginable drinking environment, presented over two to six pages—including floor plans, "usage" (café vs. nightclub vs. music store, etc.), and a list of materials.
What They're Reading...
Jamie Bush, principal of Bush Interiors
Dance of the Peacock: Jewellery Traditions of India by Usha R. Bala Krishnan and Meera Sushil Kumar Bombay (now Mumbai): India Book House Ltd., $95
335 pages, 579 illustrations
Bush describes this as an "amazing visual history" of Indian-jewelry design. "I'm fascinated by the talent of these craftsmen who design with such brilliance and skill," he says. "Other than the Egyptians, I can't think of another culture that translates a people's aesthetic into jewelry so beautifully."